Please welcome Sharita Lira and her muse Michael Mandrake as the latest guest to my blog.
First of all, please would you introduce yourself to anyone lurking here?
SL: Sharita Lira writing as muse Michael Mandrake
What made you decide to start writing?
SL: When I was in my late teens, I wanted to start writing stories and sharing my ideas with people because of what I read. However, I didn’t actually do it until after I began sharing my fanfic with others and people saying how much they liked them.
What genre(s) do you write and how did you get into it/them?
SL: I write mostly m/m romance because of slash fanfic. Back then I thought, damn I wanna write about two hot men in bed, having great monkey sex too. *laughs* I wrote some RPF (real person fic) as well as some erotica under my original penname BLMorticia.
Is there any genre(s) that you haven’t written yet which you would like to? If so, which genre(s)?
SL: I’m not really into sci-fi but I have a story in my head I’d like to write someday. We shall see what happens.
Which do you find easier to write: series or standalone stories?
SL: After doing this series, N’awlins Exotica, I’d say standalones. *laughs* When you have sequels, you always have to go back and make sure you keep everything about your characters straight, the setting, the small details. And in this series, all the characters will end up with a story. *shakes head* Damn muses!
What do you enjoy most about writing?
SL: Knowing something I created will be out there for 2 or 3 others to enjoy. *laughs* Maybe a few more read those but as an author, you just love sharing your crazy thoughts with people.
Where do you get your ideas from?
SL: Everything from current events to what’s going on in my own life. Sometimes, the men just speak to me and say, make me a story. *sigh* I love when that happens.
If you also write male/female romances, which do you find easier to write?
SL: I find m/m easier to write. It’s funny being a mostly het woman and I can’t write het sex without feeling weird. I’m almost scared to do it for fear I’ll say something stupid. *grimaces*
Despite the growing market for same sex romances, it is still a long way from being mainstream. Do you see a time when they make it to the bestseller lists?
SL: I do see that with so many great gay and or m/m authors. I mean with giants in the industry like Rick Reed, Andrew Grey, Mary Calmes, Marie Sexton, just to name a few I definitely see it going to NYT bestsellers.
There seems to be some controversy about heterosexual women writing male/male romances, and whether they should or not. Have you encountered this and what is your opinion on the matter?
SL: I’m not sure why there is. We might need to do extra research on the sex parts. *funny snicker* but we know how to write emotions. Men have feelings too. Why can’t we write men? We’re all human.
Why did you choose to go down the self-publishing route?
SL: Just to try, really. I’d heard so many saying how it wasn’t a good idea to do it but if you have beats and editors, good cover artists, and a good story, people will read it. To me it’s liberating to have that much control over your work. You decide everything.
If you have also been published via a traditional publisher, which do you prefer?
SL: I’d still say self. The waiting for contracts, cover art, edits, etc., is frustrating at times especially when you have a book you want to see get out quickly.
Who are your favourite authors when reading for inspiration?
SL: I’d say Sue Brown, Mercy Celeste, Remmy Duchene, Sara York.
What are your favourite books?
SL: So many to name but other than Anne Rice vampire series I don’t have many outside the m/m genre. In m/m, Sue Brown’s Morning Report books, KA Mitchell But My Boyfriend Is, Mercy Celeste Six Ways to Sunday, Behind the Iron Lace, Sidelined, Damon Suede Hot Head. So many! I can’t even recall them all.
Do you like to travel? What are your favourite places to visit?
SL: As I’m answering this I’m in New Orleans, Louisiana. I love this place and I hate leaving.
Is there anywhere you would like to visit which you have not had chance to yet?
SL: Britain, hands down. A close second would be New York.
What are you working on at the moment, and what are we likely to see from you in the coming months?
SL: I’m doing a co-author project right now but I’m still doing my N’awlins Exotica Paranormal series with my twin vamps. My other muse BL is busy with her rock and roll series, The Wretched.
Please tell us about your latest book.
Livin’ in N’awlins ain’t all that easy…
Kajika Fortier loves his job, the attention he gets from onlookers, and Frankie Choteau. However, his new partner’s jealousy, mood swings, and over protectiveness drives Kajika to the brink but at the same time, excites him to no end.
To complicate things further, a murderer is on the loose looking for blood. All three of the killer’s victims are strippers which not only makes Frankie nervous about Kajika’s safety but leaves him questioning his love for being a homicide detective. Coupled with the stresses of cold cases as well as some fellow officers shunning him for coming out, Frankie is having second thoughts about staying in New Orleans. Despite the encouragement from Vance, Kenina, and Orrin as well as new chief Quinn Murray, Frankie is wondering if his life’s passion really is to catch the killers.
Will the new couple survive these new issues that impede their nearly perfect union? Or will the relationship fail, thus leaving Kajika alone and a target for New Orleans latest serial killer? Detective Choteau and Kajika’s commitment to one another is being tested in more ways than one and they only have one another to lean on.
Kajika stepped out of the tub, grabbing the towel nearby to dry off. He’d been looking forward to spending the night and the early part of the day with his man, but duty called, causing Frankie to run out the door without saying anything more than ‘I’m gone’ and ‘I love you’.
Sometimes Kajika wished Frankie worked a nine to five instead of the dreaded detective position he held at the police station. They hadn’t had much time with the workload being so large due to shortage of staff, and it affected their relationship more than Kajika would’ve liked. At first he thought he could handle it; the excitement of his hot homicide detective out in the streets solving murders. Such a dangerous career but with it came nice money and accolades. Although Kajika was scared to death of blood and dead bodies, he loved hearing about some of Frankie’s cases, including the more intriguing ones that had yet to be solved. Tonight though, he would’ve traded all that in for his Frankie to be by his side.
In bed with me, where he should be.
Kajika finished wiping down and wrapped himself in his terry cloth robe to get ready for bed. He’d thought about staying up and watching some television, hoping that Frankie might return sooner than later, but he knew the truth. When called in, detectives don’t make it back home within a couple of hours. More like a few hours, or even half the day, would pass before he’d see his man again. As long as he came home safe, Kajika would deal with the amount of hours he spent away from their warm bed in Kenner, Louisiana.
On the way to the bedroom, Kajika wrapped his hair in the towel, drying his long strands. He glanced at the clock on the wall and grimaced when he noticed the big and small hand hovering over the two.
“Shit. Now I know I won’t see you until breakfast.” Kajika clicked his teeth and stomped on the trail of rose petals, angered by their night being interrupted. He pushed their bedroom door closed and leaned against the wood. “Damnit. We haven’t done a whole lot other than late night cuddling, quickies in the bathroom or on the kitchen floor. I need more than that, Frankie…I need−”
A long buzz sounded from the dresser, and Kajika moved quickly to see who was calling.
Frankie, or at least Kajika hoped it was, calling him with the news he’d be returning home sooner than expected. Although farfetched, Kajika could still wish his husband to be back early. He gulped hard and said a little prayer before clicking the connect button. “Hello?”
Silence then a sigh. “Babe, it’s me… I… I got some real bad news to tell you, sweetheart, but I’d rather you hear it from me as opposed to anyone else.”
Kajika released a deep breath and shrugged. “Are you okay, love? Something bothering−”
“Naw, I’m good, boo, but−” Frankie stopped a moment and blew hard through the phone.
Kajika plopped on the bed and crossed his legs, wondering what the heck his man was talking about. Bad news? What could it possibly be? Kajika nibbled on his bottom lip while he toyed with the frayed threads on his housecoat. “What is it, lover?”
“Babe, the murder I got called in for was…” Frankie ceased speaking again and sounded a little choked up about it.
Kajika held his breath and blinked twice in succession. “Who Frankie? Come on, just spit it out, right…who…”
“Lana Miles, babe. Lana’s been strangled to death.” Frankie spoke quickly to get the words out.
Kajika stared straight ahead, and his heart caught in his chest. Oh my God! Unable to cope with what he’d just heard, he dropped his phone and immediately the tears welled under his eyelids. Lana? Oh my God, who killed her? She was a good person…she…
“Kajika? Babe, you there? You okay, love? Talk to me, honey.”
Where can we find you and your books on the web?
Michael Mandrake pens complex characters already comfortable with their sexuality. Thorough these, he builds worlds not centered on erotica but rather the mainstream plots we might encounter in everyday life through personal experiences or the media. To find out more please visit http://tabooindeed.blogspot.com.
Author Sharita Lira: In one word, crazy. Just crazy enough to have 3 different muses running around in her head, driving her to sheer exhaustion with new plot bunnies and complex characters.
This happily married mother of two beautiful children loves music, computers, reading, and still enjoys reading and writing fanfiction. She’s a proud member of the Erotica Readers & Writers Association, as well as an advocate for rights of LGBT citizens. She’s also a contributor to the heavy metal ezine Fourteeng.net.
For more information, please visit http://www.thelitriad.com as well as her Facebook fanpage, The Literary Triad.
The Literary Triad – http://www.thelitriad.com/#!
Michael Mandrake – http://tabooindeed.blogspot.com
BLMorticia – http://blmorticia.wordpress.com
Rawiya – http://rawiyaerotica.wordpress.com
TriadPromo – http://triadliteraryworks.blogspot.com/
Twitter – http://twitter.com/#!/rawiyamikembl
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/TheLiteraryTriad
AuthorGraph – http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/rawiyamikembl
Check out more stops on I Love It Rough Blog Tour
2/23 The Rainbow Studio
2/25 Lily Velden
2/26 Its Raining Men
3/4 Raine O’ Tierney
3/8 JC Wallace
3/9 Chris T Kat
3/10 LM Brown
3/11 Rob Colton
3/12 Shira Anthony
3/15 QueerTown Abbey
Sharita Lira is holding a rafflecopter giveaway that I can’t include here because of the script limitations of WordPress. But if you want to enter the giveaway please go to this link to join in.
The prizes are:-
One winner receives:
1 ebook copy of ILIR
1 Coffee Mug
1 Starbucks Gift Card
Bag of Beads from New Orleans
1 All Romance Gift Card
1 N’awlins T Shirt
Jewelry Inspired by N’awlins Exotica
Booksmarks, Postcards, and pens from Sharita Lira/Muses
Good luck everyone!
And thanks Sharita for blogging with me today.